My iPhone vibrates and I quickly pull it out to see what the latest from Command is. As the designated Comms for the team, it is my job to stay on top of what other teams are doing and orders from on high.
"Blue teams, you have two minutes until hunting of red teams begins."
I share the news with the team and we quickly scurry to our predetermined hiding spot.
We were assigned call sign Delta. Some of us know each other. Others are strangers. But, for the night we are together and everything from building fires to reading maps will only be successful if we work together as a team.
After a night in the darkness, the morning sun is arriving and her warmth feels good.
Throughout the night we've talked to locals to gather intel, carried fallen comrades on stretchers made from what we could find and stopped the bleeding on our two-liter friends who took a knife to the heart.
We weren't sent out into the wild city of Boston without knowledge to help us survive the night or beyond.
Two Special Forces veterans shared what they learned in the mountains and deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. They instructed us on the differences between bugging out in Idaho versus North Carolina. They did their best to instruct the eighty or so of us who had signed up to be part of this unique experience.
I had several rucks to choose from and opted for my trusty black GR1 and Dylan was using his gray wolf Rucker for the night. As the hours rolled on, I knew we had both overpacked, but there were no regrets for being prepared.
Taking cover next to a U-Haul, I quickly texted the rest of Team Delta. We had become split up since the last hunting season began and it was my job to ensure that everyone knew what was going on and where we needed to be.
Earlier in the night as Dylan and I had taken cover in decorative bushes in the middle of the street. Cars and pedestrians passed us by without any knowledge that we were there.
Nearby the rest of our team were under cars and in the shadows of entry ways as the Cadre hunted for us.
I'll never forget those damn bushes. Might have something to do with my new "war paint" I was covered in from thorns ripping up my forehead while hiding. That and the man sitting on a bench nearby and what he must have thought as two dark figures rose out of the bushes in front of him and his look of shock as he let out a, "Whoa!" upon seeing us.
Most of Delta has regrouped.
We back into our hobbit hole and replace the pallet we've added as a bit of extra concealment. We hear approaching feet and recognize that it is the final member of our team. We fit him in and bunker down for the next wave.
My iPhone goes nuts again and again. The blue teams don't seem to be able to tell time and are not sure if hunting has begun for them or not. We chuckle silently and wait.
Down the alley, we spot someone turn the corner. They look directly at us, do a double check and then leave.
We are one with the shadows. The alley was an obvious hiding spot, but we've taken it a step further. We are never found.
Returning to base, the doors to our HQ are closed. Rarely a good sign because you never know what dragons may pour forth as they roll up.
Our final dragons of the night are named Mike and John and they have an evil grin of delight on their faces as only GORUCK Cadre can flash.
Our improvised gas masks are needed. We line up as ordered. One final test for the night?
Mention of a new formation inside and no more teams moving forward, but one single unit.
Smells like citrus. Burns like being tattooed by the sun. Glad we learned how to make these masks earlier in the night.
We enter headquarters and see the patches. We are one unit now.
GORUCK Constellation #008
Now it is your turn. The hardest part is signing up.